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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Falkirk Rules

John Woodman

Blackpool is fortunate in having developed a strong working relationship with the leading UK coachbuilding firm of Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL) headquartered in Falkirk, Nearly all of the resort's bus fleet having been built in the company's workshops during the past decade. Their now familiar 'Palladium' profiles dominate Blackpool bus routes much like previous era when MCW buses were a common factor for services in the 1960s and 1970s supplanting home built products of the HV Burlingham company.

Falkirk once had its own municipal tramway up until replacement by buses during the 1930s. Unusually for a small operator the Falkirk system was wholly upgraded during the 1920s with the early fleet of traditional open double deck cars being replaced by new single deck trams - built in Loughborough by the Brush Engineering Company. Additionally the compact system became a complete double track circular route up to closure. The tram route passed through the suburb of Carron which gave its name to new artillery used by the Royal Navy in the 1800s - 'carronade' meant a fearsome broadside of enemy vessels.

The new single deck fleet from Brush was augmented by a small batch of redundant cars from the short lived Dearne and District Tramway. Built by English Electric these two axle cars were of a very typical style in the 1920s - but utilitarian in design with wooden side bench seating. Lytham St Annes also acquired a small number on the closure of the Dearne & District operation and attempted to run them on their joint service into Blackpool as far as Gynn Square. Blackpool took exception to having the cars operating over its tracks and they were then limited to local services in St Annes and Lytham until withdrawal.

The Falkirk Brush single deckers (four axle models) saw service up to replacement of the entire service by buses in the 1930s. Fortunately one has survived into preservation and is in care of the Local Authority but stored and without public access.

Falkirk 14 stored in unpainted condition - showing 'Carron' on its destination screen. A memorable survivor - second generation tram for this Scottish operator and deserving of public display in its original colours. Image : John Woodman Archive


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